|Real Estate . It's The Real Thing|
Buying a home can be the best investment you will ever make. Do it when you are young and it could become the cornerstone to your financial independence.
Thanks to a $3000 real estate investment Aline and I made in 1962 we were able to buy a radio station in 1979. Here's how it happened ... We were married in 1956 and rented until 1962. During that time we built absolutely no equity whatsoever. In 1962 we scraped together $3,000 as down payment on a $12,000 bungalow in the Mountain Gardens area of Burlington, Ontario. In 1967 we sold it for $24,000 and bought a new 5 bedroom home in Burlington for $42,000. In 1979 we bought radio station CKAY in Duncan, B.C. We sold our home during a depressed market for $130,000 and used the money to swing the deal on the station. Since then we have never looked back. That's what can happen with real estate. In fact, four of the largest fortunes in Canada are centred around real estate investments; the Irvings in the Maritimes, the Reichmanns in central Canada, the Ghennezians in Alberta, and the Belzbergs in B.C.
Although real estate prices fluctuate through good times and bad, they almost always recover. Raymond Aaron knows that:
"There are two types of problems in real estate. Chronic and acute. The chronic never goes away; the acute always goes away. Recognizing this fact is part of what I teach in my real estate courses."
Raymond wasn't always an expert on the subject. He took his lumps too. "When I was 21 and just out of university I raised $50,000 and started making a soft drink from apple juice that foamed like beer. I got terrific publicity in MacLean's, The Toronto Telegram and Marketing Magazine. But I was going head-to-head with Coca-Cola and we just didn't make it. We were out of business in nine months."
Although he is not ashamed of his failures, Raymond is also extremely proud of his successes. By buying and selling real estate in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, he became a millionaire in less than five years.
"I tried working for other people and a couple of other ventures on my own. But I felt empty. I started giving real estate courses based on what I called 'The Contrarian Principles of Wealth'. By that I mean, when most people are doing one thing, you do another."
Raymond gives as an example-when the economy is soft, interest rates are high and prices are low, buy. When "the problems go away", sell. Seems a fairly simple and logical philosophy. Why doesn't everybody follow it? If Raymond has his way, millions of Canadians will. Many thousands have already heard his "12-Hour Real Estate Course", which he started offering in 1983.
Speaking to groups of 20 to 700, Raymond extols the wisdom he has learned first-hand. "I have bought upwards of 1,000 properties, sold some, and retained about 300. These transactions, which form the basis of my income, allow me to travel and lecture. This is the side of the business I love most. Ever since I was a little boy I could tell stories and hold an audience. For me, it's fun. And at the same time I am fulfilling my mission: making Canada a better country by providing educational services."
Born into a middle-class family in Toronto, where his father, Joseph Aaron, was a cabdriver, Raymond excelled in school, graduating from the University of Toronto with an Honours B.Sc. in Nuclear Physics. He aimed at a career in industry but hated it. "I felt so empty. Even when I was operating my own businesses, I still did not feel fulfilled."
Teaching mathematics still didn't satisfy his desire to succeed, while also putting something back that would help others. In that regard, he opened a real estate bookstore in 1984 and launched the Library Club two years later.
"The Club now has about 2000 members. Every two months members receive a book or a tape or other useful financial information which they would not come across themselves."
To what does Raymond credit his success.
"My father instilled in me to take your time and build slowly and carefully. He went from cabby to fleetowner and in 1960 established the Canadian Natural Hygiene Society. He ran the Boston Marathon in his 50ís."
Raymond's advice for people investing in real estate in the 90's? "Invest in the bad times. In my book 'You Can Make a Million in Canadian Real Estate' in 1987, I predicted a Recession in 1990. I also predicted we will have a false short-term recovery followed by a real Depression between now and 2000. After that, when the world returns to real value, we will experience a long spell of good times."
Raymond Aaron has a staff of seven working at his Raymond Aaron Group office in Newmarket, Ontario. "Most of their work involves setting up appointments and lecture tours for the real estate seminars. It's an all Canadian company. My carriage is hitched to the Canadian horse. I love this country!" He's another Canadian Achiever.
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